CBCon Trip Part One - Six Flags Great Adventure

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Kick The Sky's avatar
Six Flags Great Adventure - Friday, May 20 & Monday, May 23

Six Flags Great Adventure was where I would be starting and ending my small, four day coaster vacation. The plan was to take an early flight into Philly, spend the day at Six Flags, drive to Allentown, take in CoasterBuzz Con on Saturday, do Hershey on Sunday, leave the hotel early in the morning on Monday and hit Great Adventure before heading to the airport for a 7:55 flight.

Best laid plans... Well, things started going to hell when my morning flight was cancelled due to inclement weather in Philly. Got moved up to the ten AM flight, which was delayed by a half hour leaving. After circling the airport for a while, waiting for a parking spot for the plane, a slower than average baggage claim, a really slow car rental place, and heavy traffic to the park, I ended up getting to the park around four in the afternoon, after expecting to be there at noon. Not that it mattered, the park was under a heavy downpour all day.

So, I had about four hours to do Great Adventure (I wanted to get as much as I could out of the way, not knowing what Monday might hold) and it was raining cats and dogs. Miraculously, however, every coaster in the park, save Kingda Ka, was open. So, I put on my nice, lined Six Flags windbreaker, and hit the rides.

I managed to ride everything in three hours. The rain had driven everyone away so all the rides were walk-ons. The only two exceptions were Kingda Ka, which was closed due to the rain, and Blackbeard's Lost Treasure, which I completely missed on Friday.

I had a much better day on Monday, arriving at the park when they opened the parking lot and getting into the line to enter the park as the second person, only to find that Kingda Ka had suffered a major breakdown on Sunday and that it was unlikely to open all day. Oh well. No Ka for this trip. I headed off for the next best thing, Nitro, and put in about 6 laps with generous seat poaching, much to the amusement of the ride ops. After six laps, the ops said it was time for me to go and I smiled and thanked them all and did the rest of the park at a leisurly pace for the rest of the day.

I ended up finishing the day doing the animal safari. Most coaster freaks would consider the safari a waste of time, but I consider it one of the highlights of my trip. I was kind of worried about my rental car when an ostrich decided to try and peck out the driver side window on it, though. And who would have thunk that giraffes could run so fast!

Anyways, I will go over the rides and then give my impressions of the park.

  • Nitro: Highlight of the park. I'll admit that I am a huge Great America fan boy, especially when it comes to the attacks on Raging Bull from Nitro and Apollo's Charriot fan boys, but I have to say that Nitro blew away Raging Bull in my book. Great airtime throughout the ride and you still get pulled over that first drop in the last seats.
  • Batman: This was my fourth B:TR clone and I still say that namtaB in St. Louis is still the best one. Could they have painted this something other than yellow during their repaint? It blends in with Nitro too much.
  • Robin: Batman side of Chiller was closed. Robin was just okay. Not the strongest of launches, the zero-G roll was fun, especially backwards, but I kept finding myself comparing the ride to Mr. Freeze and finding Robin coming up short.
  • Skull Mountain: Not a real fan of "dark" coasters. It was an okay ride, but they could have added a little bit of light, ala Rock-n-Roller Coaster.
  • Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train: Yeah, I scored the kiddie credit. It was empty on Monday, so, why not. Love the long trains on these because if you ride up front, the car slowly coasts down the hills and zooms up the hills. Good times.
  • Great American Scream Machine: Another gem on this trip. This finished my collection of Arrow Mega-Loopers. The deadman's curve on this was not as bad as I remembered on Shockwave. Anyways, I found that if I leaned into the restraints that I didnt get much headbanging. Love the high G's in the loops. I think I rode this more than any other coaster in the park, save Nitro.
  • Superman: Rode it once. Have one at home that's just the same. Got stuck on the holding brakes for about fifteen minutes. That is seriously a crappy situation to be in.
  • Kingda Ka: Didn't ride. Weather on friday, technical on Monday. Saw it launch a few times on Friday. Not real broken up over not riding it. Was never really thrilled with Dragster on any of the rides after my first.
  • Viper: They are starting to tear it apart. It still looked fairly intact, but I saw welders working on the station.
  • Rolling Thunder: It wasn't bad, but it wasn't really good either. It certainly was smooth but it seemed forceless. It looked like they were doing trackwork on the other side.
  • Runaway Train: Standard Arrow mine train. Yawn, next.
  • Medusa: This was one of the coasters I was most looking forward to and boy was I disappointed. It was very rough with a lot of headbanging reminicent of an old Arrow or a Vekoma. I had heard people comparing this to Kraken for smoothness, but I think they are on Krak ;)
  • Other rides: I rode the ferris wheel, the skyride, the parachute ride, and the Intamin first gen drop. The drop ride was great. First Gen Intamins are my favorite drop ride because they give you the most stomach dropping sensation. Great fun. The parachute ride was my first ride on one of these. Good times on that as well.

My overall impression of the park was way better than I expected. I expected typical Six Flags and was given something well above that. I can't say that it's better than Great America, but then I never would because I am fiercly loyal to the park.

The employees were all very friendly and helpful. The park was clean (then again both days it was practically empty).

The theming was actually pretty good. I especailly liked the new section as well as the frontier sections of the park. I also liked the candy theming on some of the buildings in the park.

Ride operations were okay. While they didnt run maximum trains on Nitro and Medusa, they didnt need to. I really like the fact that the ops do the ride spiels and that nothing is automated. They put life into the spiels and make it their own. Big props to the guy running Medusa because he had everyone in the station really pumped up and laughing and made things really fun.

If I had a complaint, it would be the food prices. While the food for the most part was pretty good, the prices were more than I have paid at most parks. Fifteen bucks for a small sandwich, fries and a small soda just seemed a bit extreme.

I made sure to stop by Guest Relations on the way out and tell them what an awesome job the park did. I filled out a comment form and the person in Guest Relations seemed genuinely happy to get the compliments. Great job Great Adventure!

Certain victory.

Hey...I was there on Monday with my friend Katy. We were among the 8 or so that stood at the gate since 11:30 outside of Ka and waited...and waited...and yes, the ride did open around 4:30, 5 that afternoon...I know because I was on the 5th train to go out :)

Haha no I'm not giving Patrick the finger

woooooooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooooo ka is back in op.

I rode GASM earlier this season and didn't have to ride defensively but I may start riding Medusa defensively. I also scored the kiddie coaster credit this season, funniest thing was seeing a 6'4" friend of mine squeeze into it.

Maybe our Batman clone should have been painted black again like it was at one time. Yes I say our since GAdv is my home major park even though I only hit it 2 or 3 times a year.

Great TR and glad you enjoyed NJ's Six Flags. *** Edited 5/26/2005 12:01:54 AM UTC by dragonoffrost***

Watch the tram car please....
Olsor's avatar
Nice TR, KTS. I'm actually doing a three-day jaunt to SFGAdv, DP and SFA this weekend. Thanks for the warning about food prices.

I've ridden only three B:TRs, but I agree with you: the St. Louis version is the best. No idea why.

I'm also looking forward to riding GASM - the last time I rode Shockwave was in 1996, and at the time, my friends and I agreed that would be the last time we'd ride it. Little did we know we'd have no choice in a few more years. Darn it if all that headbashing didn't make me nostalgic.

Now you've got me psyched for Nitro...

I was highly disappointed in Nitro, I was hoping it would be like Raging Bull with all the airtime in the back but it just didn't deliver like RB did.

Runaway Train beat the snot out of me, I wanted the ride to be over as the bar was crushing my legs, it was just as painful as CCMR at CP.

KK was down that Tuesday, it barely rained that morning and the rest of the day was sunny but the security guard said that if the crosswinds were above a certain speed they couldn't operate, talk about major bummer, first TTD breaks down and then KK not open, 0-2 on tallest and fastest in the world, urghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

It was cool seeing a roller coaster being torn apart as they were tearing down Viper, should have got some pics but ran out of time.

Skol Vikings
Let's shoot us some deer Joe Joe!!!!

ApolloAndy's avatar
Props to KTS for actually filing a compliment with Guest relations. I make sure to get the name of any ops who made my experience a notch above and mention it to guest services. I don't know if they get anything for it, but I hope they do.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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